As it was forgotten bakes week, I had no idea what to expect when making this. I really didn’t expect to enjoy eating it but it was delicious! No soggy bottoms here either – I thought it would be very wet underneath, but it was crisp and dry!
- 200g (1 2/3 cups) plain flour
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 100g (1 stick minus 1 tablespoon) cold butter
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 1 egg, to glaze
- 250g (1 1/2 cups) Medjool dates, coarsely chopped
- 100g (1/2 cup) dried apricots, coarsely chopped
- 50g (1/3 cup) crystallised ginger, finely chopped
- 50mL (1/4 cup) dark rum
- 50g (1/4 cup) light brown soft sugar
- 50g (1/2 stick) butter, cut into small cubes
- Mix together all of the filling ingredients (except the butter), in a bowl and leave aside to soak while you make the pastry.
- For the dough, cut the butter into small cubes, and then add the flour and icing sugar. Rub into the dough until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg, lemon juice, and water to the mixture, and mix to combine. Once it balls together, wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Split the dough into two pieces – one third and two thirds. Roll out the two-thirds of dough and use to line a 22cm metal pie dish. Leave the excess pastry hanging over the edge.
- Spread the filling over the pastry case, and dot the butter around on the surface.
- Roll out the remaining dough and cut into 14 strips around 1/2” wide. Use these to create a lattice with 7 strands either side directly on top of the cake. Brush with the egg to glaze.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 160ºC (320ºF) for another 20 minutes.
- Serve warm or cold.
You can find the original recipe here, on The Great British Bake Off’s website.
I love making pizzas – I’ve been making these at least once a month for the past couple of years, so I think I would have been pretty good at this challenge! The most important thing is to make sure the mozzarella has been drained and squeezed in kitchen roll to remove as much moisture as possible. If this isn’t done, you may end up with a soup of liquid in the middle of your pizza!
Makes 2 Pizzas
- 5g (1 tsp) fast-action dried yeast
- 260mL (1 cup) warm water
- 400g (3 1/4 cups) strong white bread flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp oil
- large pinch of sugar
- basil leaves, to garnish
- 1 can (400g) plum tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic
- Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl. Add the water and oil on top, and mix together with a spoon until you have a shaggy dough.
- Knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover with cling film and leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
- For the sauce, chop and fry the garlic in a little oil for a minute, then stir in the tomatoes.
- Add the sugar and salt and simmer for 10 minutes until it is a thick, sauce-like consistency. Leave to one side until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC (425ºF). Split the dough in half and using your hands, press out into a large circle. Try not to press the outside rim to ensure a thick crust.
- Add the sauce to the middle of the pizza, and spread outwards leaving an inch rim for the crust. Slice your mozzarella and place on top.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the cheese is brown and bubbling. Remove from the heat and add basil leaves to garnish. Enjoy!
Pasteis de Nata, or Portuguese Tarts, are one of my favourite things to eat. If you’re ever in the Cardiff area, make sure to visit Nata & Co. – it’s a Portuguese bakery where they sell all kinds of delicious bakes, including the famous tart.
Don’t be daunted by the pastry – make sure you use plenty of flour underneath, and regularly lift the dough to ensure it doesn’t stick. Trust me – they’re worth it!!!
Makes 12 Tarts
- 125g (1 cup) flour
- 1/8tsp salt
- 115mL (1/2 cup) water
- 110g (1 stick) butter
- 12g (1 tsp and 1 tbsp) flour
- 148mL (2/3 cup) milk
- 132g (2/3 cups) sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 80mL (1/3 cup) water
- 1/4tsp vanilla extract
- 3 egg yolks
- Mix together the flour, salt, and water until combined. It should be a nice, soft, dough. Add a little more flour or water, if required.
- Roll into a 12.5″ square. Take one-third of the butter and spread across the left two-thirds of the dough, leaving a 1″ gap around the edges. Fold the right (unbuttered) third into the middle, and then fold the left side into the middle (see slideshow below for further clarification). Turn the dough by 90 degrees.
- Roll out to a 12.5″ square again and repeat as before with a further third of butter.
- Roll the dough into a 9″ x 21″ rectangle with the short side towards you, and use the remaining butter to cover the dough. Working carefully, tightly roll the dough towards you, brushing off excess flour from the bottom as you roll.
- Trim the ends and wrap in cling film. Chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight. You can also freeze the dough at this point.
- Whisk the flour and 30mL (1/8 cup) of the milk together in a medium bowl.
- In a saucepan, heat the sugar, water, and cinnamon together until it reaches 100ºC (220ºF).
- Meanwhile, add the remaining milk to a separate saucepan, and scald (until 82ºC/180ºF). Whisk this into the flour/milk mixture.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and then pour the syrup into the flour/milk mixture, whisking together as you do. Add the vanilla and leave to cool for a minute before whisking in the egg yolks.
- Strain the mixture into a clean jug. The custard does not need to be thick at this point.
- Pre-heat your oven to your highest setting (mine was 250ºC), and remove your dough from the fridge.
- Cut the log into 12 equal pieces, and place one piece into each cavity in your muffin tin. You may need to let your dough soften out of the fridge slightly before continuing.
- Using your thumbs, push the dough down into the tin until the base is covered, then push up the sides of the tin to create the sides. Repeat with all of your dough.
- Pour your custard into each cup of dough so it is three-quarters full, and bake until they are brown around the edges and on top (around 12-15 minutes).
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. They are best eaten warm!
This recipe has been adapted from leitesculinaria.com. You can find the recipe here.
I love making molten puddings – I am constantly making a similar recipe, which is chocolate with an oozy chocolate centre. Hopefully I will put that on my blog soon!
These puddings are so easy to make for dinner parties – the mixture can be made in advance and kept in the fridge in their moulds. Once you are ready, you can pop them straight into the oven. Just make sure to add a couple of extra minutes to account for the chilling. This recipe is also quite easy to scale – you can always third the recipe to make two as a practice to perfect the times!!
- cocoa powder, for dusting
- 165g (1 cup chopped) dark chocolate
- 165g (3/4 cup) butter
- 3 medium eggs
- 3 medium egg yolks
- 85g (1/2 cups) caster sugar
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 6 heaped tbsp peanut butter
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) or 180°C (360°F) fan. Grease 6 pudding moulds or ramekins with butter and dust with cocoa powder.
- Melt the chocolate and the butter together, and leave to one side to cool.
- Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together until pale and frothy. Fold in the chocolate mixture, then sieve and gently fold in the flour.
- Add three-quarters of the batter to the moulds, and then spoon 1tbsp of peanut butter onto each. Top up each mould with the remaining batter.
- Place the moulds on a baking tray and bake for 8-12 minutes – they should still have a bit of a wobble.
- Take them out of the oven, and leave for about a minute before turning out onto a plate.
The original recipe can be found on The Great British Bake Off’s website.
When I discovered that stroopwafels were the next technical challenge, I was worried – I thought it would be impossible to create these without a waffle iron. However, necessity is the mother of invention! I managed to ‘make’ one using two cast iron pans, which you can see below:
With this setup, I heated up both pieces separately on a medium-high heat. Once heated, I added a ball of dough to the bottom, and (using oven gloves!) I put the smaller pan on top and squished it down for 30 seconds. I then left these to cook for a further minute and a half, and I think they turned out great! The smaller cast iron piece had a design on the base, so this also made them come out quite pretty, if I do say so myself!
As with all the bakers in this challenge, my caramel also came out very grainy. If I were to make these again, I think I would try to melt the sugar alone first, and then add in the butter. The sugar just did not want to dissolve for some reason.
However, they tasted amazing, and I would definitely attempt them again in the future.
For the dough
- 300g (21/2 cups) plain flour
- 65g (1/4 cup) butter
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 65g (1/3 cup) sugar
- 65mL (1/4 cup) warm water
- 1 large egg
- pinch of salt
For the caramel
- 200g (1 cup packed) soft light brown sugar
- 100g (1/2 cup) butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 5 tbsp golden syrup
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- You will also need a 10cm (4 inch) round cookie cutter.
- In a large bowl, rub the butter and the flour together until it looks like breadcrumbs. Mix in the yeast, cinnamon, and sugar.
- Stir in the warm water and egg, and knead together for two minutes, until smooth. Cover and leave for 30 minutes.
- For the caramel, melt the butter and sugar together over a low heat until dissolved. Add the cinnamon and syrup and stir until it starts to bubble. Stir in the vanilla, and keep warm.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces, and cover with a damp cloth to prevent them drying out.
- Heat up the waffle iron or cast iron (see instructions above), and grease with butter. Place a ball on, and close the lid. Bake for 1-2 minutes until they are a dark golden colour.
- Quickly, remove the stroopwafel and place on a chopping board. Cut using a 10cm (4 inch) cutter, and slice in half with a sharp knife.
- Add a heaping tablespoon of caramel in the middle of one side, and gently push the two sides together to evenly distribute the caramel across the surface. Place on a wire rack to cool, and repeat with the remaining dough.
This recipe was originally from the Great British Bake Off’s website, which you can find here.
The technical challenge from week 3 was a cottage loaf. I thought it would be a bit boring to do a loaf of white bread – so here is my favourite bread recipe reimagined as a cottage loaf!
My Walnut and Berry Bread is delicious as-is with butter, but is also great toasted. I try not to make this too often because it rarely has time to cool down before the loaf is gone!
I like to change up the fruit I add to this recipe – my current favourite is a mixture of currants, flame raisins and dried cranberries. However, if you can’t find or don’t like any of these, feel free to add whatever you like!
- 150g (11/4 cups) white bread flour
- 150g (11/4 cups) wholemeal bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp oil
- 200mL (1 cup) warm water
- 100g (3/4 cups) walnuts, roughly chopped
- 100g (2/3 cups) dried fruit (see above)
- Mix together the flours, salt, yeast, and cinnamon. Add the sugar and oil to the water and mix briefly.
- Add the liquid to the flour, and mix until you have a have a dough – add a little more water if the dough is dry. Knead for 5 minutes until soft and springy.
- Add the fruit/nut mixture to the dough and knead thoroughly until well incorporated.
- Take two-thirds of the dough, and roll into a ball. Place onto a lined baking tray and flatten slightly with one hand. Take the remaining third and repeat on top of the larger ball. Flour two fingers and push down through the centre of the dough from the top down to the bottom to bond the two sections together.
- Cover with oiled clingfilm or a damp tea towel and leave to rise for around an hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Remove the covering and make 8 slits in each tier of the bread. Place into the centre of the oven and add cold water to the bottom of the oven to create steam.
- Bake for around 35 minutes. Turn the loaf over and check if it sounds hollow – if not, place back into the oven upside-down for 5 minutes.
- Remove and cool on a wire rack.
This recipe has been adapted from Delia’s Walnut and Raisin Bread – find it here.
I was very excited when I saw that fortune cookies were next on the agenda – they have been on my to-do list for so long! This finally gave me an excuse to make them, and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.
A silicone baking mat is required for this recipe – fortune cookies will stick to anything else (even greaseproof paper!), so make sure you have a mat! Also be aware that you need to manipulate these as soon as they come out of the oven – a small spatula can help to flip and fold the cookies to prevent burning yourself. My only other advice would be to make sure they have started to brown on the edges – underbaked dough will not harden fully and will prevent a crisp snap.
I really did enjoy making these, and I hope you will too!
Makes 12 Fortune Cookies – 6 of each
- 2 large egg whites
- 3tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp water
- 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
- 65g (1/2 cup) plain flour
- 11/2 tsp cornflour
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp orange extract
- orange food colouring
- Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) / 130°C (270°F) fan. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat, and prepare fortunes for your cookies.
- Gently whisk the egg whites together with the vegetable oil and water.
- Sieve the flour, cornflour, and salt together in a separate bowl, and stir in the sugar.
- Add the egg mixture to the bowl and beat until smooth. Do not aerate the batter.
- Divide the batter into two bowls. Add the almond extract to one, and the orange extract to the other.
- For the orange fortune cookies, place 3 tbsp batter into a disposable icing bag and set aside. Colour the remaining batter bright orange.
- For the almond cookies, place one tablespoon of batter onto one side of the silicone mat and using the back of a spoon, spread until you have a 10cm (4″) circle. Repeat on the other side of the mat with a second tablespoon of mixture. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned on the edges.
- Working quickly, remove from the oven and lift a cookie from the tray. Add a fortune to the centre, fold in half and press the edges to seal. Place the middle of the folded edge of the cookie on the rim of a glass to fold them in to make the classic shape. Place in a 12-hole muffin tin to cool and set. Repeat with the other cookie, and the remaining batter to make six in total.
- For the orange cookies, place two tablespoons of batter onto the silicone mat and spread as before. Using the piping bag, pipe six circles of light-coloured batter around the circle, 1cm in from the edge. Drag a cocktail stick through the first circle, and follow around to form a heart pattern around the outside of the cookie.
- Bake and shape as above, to make a further six cookies.
This recipe was adapted from Paul’s Fortune Cookies Recipe, which can be found on The Great British Bake Off’s website.
So here we are – Series 8 of The Great British Bake Off has started! As a personal challenge this year, I am going to attempt the technical challenges from each week and post my results.
As mini rolls are so readily available in the supermarket, it had never crossed my mind to make them from scratch! I used Prue’s recipe but made a couple of adjustments to emulate store-bought mini rolls. In this recipe, the peppermint filling is substituted for vanilla, and they are coated in milk chocolate instead of a combination of plain and milk chocolate.
Overall, they were trickier to make than I expected – it was quite fiddly to roll the sponge without tearing it, and to ensure the rolls were completely coated in chocolate. I am quite pleased with my results though – hopefully I wouldn’t be the first to leave the tent!
Makes 12 Rolls
For the Cake
- 60g (2/3 cup) cocoa powder
- 30g (2 tbsp) butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp water (boiled)
- 6 large eggs
- 150g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
For the Filling
- 150g (1 cup) butter, softened
- 300g (21/2 cups) icing sugar
For the Coating
- 400g (2 cups chopped) milk chocolate
- 100g (1/2 cup chopped) white chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F) / 160°C (320°F) fan. Grease two swiss roll tins (30cm x 20cm / 12″ x 8″) and line with greaseproof paper.
- Mix together the cocoa powder, butter, vanilla extract, and water.
- Separate the eggs. Add the egg yolks and 100g (1/2 cup) sugar together and whisk until smooth and frothy. Mix into the chocolate mixture.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and remaining sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Beat one-third of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture, until mixed thoroughly.
- Carefully fold the remaining egg white into the mixture, making sure to keep as much air in the batter as possible.
- Pour the mixture into the two tins and level gently with a spatula. Bake for 12-18 minutes, then leave the tins to cool completely on wire racks.
Filling & Rolling
- Combine the butter, icing sugar, and vanilla extract until mixed, then beat vigorously until pale and fluffy.
- Flip the cakes onto fresh greaseproof paper and remove the old paper. Score a line 4cm (approximately 13/4“) from each short end of the cake, so you have two lines on each cake.
- Spread the buttercream evenly over the top of both cakes, and roll one side towards the centre using the greaseproof paper. Turn the cake and repeat on the other side so they meet in the middle and cut along this line. Repeat with the other sponge so that you have four long rolls.
- Even the ends by cutting off a small amount, then divide each roll into three. Place these seam-side down onto a cooling rack and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
- Melt the milk chocolate over a pan of simmering water. Place the cooling rack on top of a baking tray to catch the excess, and pour the chocolate over the rolls to cover.
- Once the milk chocolate has set, melt the white chocolate and place into a disposable piping bag. Cut off the tip and pipe lines across the top of the rolls. Leave to set.
This recipe was adapted from Prue’s Chocolate Mini Rolls Recipe, which can be found on The Great British Bake Off’s website.
Macarons may look difficult, but they are simple as long as you follow three easy rules. One – weigh your ingredients. Usually, I include cup measurements, but it’s important to be precise here. Two – make sure the almonds are as fine as possible. And three – ensure that you don’t lose the air in the egg whites. As long as you follow these rules, you shouldn’t have a problem.
There are many tutorials online on how to pipe heart-shaped macarons. Of course, this recipe also works well if you want to make round macarons. I also find it easier to trace 2cm (3⁄4inch) round or heart shapes onto parchment paper before piping. It’s extremely important to let the macarons rest for this recipe, otherwise the ‘feet’ won’t develop properly. They are better eaten the next day, but only if you can resist them for that long!
Makes 24 macarons (48 rounds)
- 71g almonds (blanched or ground)
- 117g icing sugar
- gel food colouring
- 2 egg whites
- 53g sugar
- food flavouring (optional)
- 58g unsalted butter
- 250g icing sugar (sifted)
- 1/2tsp vanilla paste
- 1-2tbsp milk
- Add almonds and icing sugar to a food processor and blitz until fine. Pass this through a sieve. Repeat this process until around 2 tablespoons of large pieces remain – these can be discarded.
- Whisk the egg whites with the sugar in a separate bowl until you have stiff glossy peaks. Add the food colouring and flavouring (if using), and whisk until combined.
- Add the egg whites to the dry mixture. Fold gently around 35 times – it won’t seem like it will come together at first but be patient; it will happen all of a sudden.
- Transfer mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm (3⁄8inch) tip, and pipe 2cm (3⁄4inch) hearts or rounds onto a lined baking sheet. Forcefully bash the baking tray against the counter three times to disperse air pockets.
- Leave the macarons to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 175°c (350°f).
- Bake the macarons for around 13 minutes. They should not be browned, but be well risen and crisp to the touch. Leave to cool completely before removing.
- For the vanilla buttercream, beat all the ingredients together until light and fluffy.
- Using an offset spatula or knife, gently pry the macarons off the baking sheet and sandwich using the vanilla buttercream (or filling of your choice).
This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s website.
This is the first recipe I ever tried when making doughnuts, and it was so good that I never tried another! The doughnuts are crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, and filled with dulce de leche; the most incredible and thick caramel sauce. They are then dusted in a cinnamon sugar, which takes them that extra step further.
I fry these using a large cast iron casserole pot. The original recipe doesn’t specify a temperature, but I have found 190°c (375°f) to be perfect. When frying, it is important not to fry too many at once; the room temperature dough will lower the temperature of the oil. The thought of these is making me hungry; I think I have to make another batch this weekend!
|For the doughnuts
- 1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
- 75g (1⁄3 cup) caster sugar
- 550g (41⁄2 cups) plain (AP) flour
- 320mL (11⁄3 cups) semi-skimmed milk
- 80g (1⁄3 cup) unsalted butter
|For frying, filling and rolling
- 1 litre (41⁄4 cups) vegetable oil
- 200g (2⁄3 cup) dulce de leche
- 75g (1⁄3 cup) caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Heat the milk until warm. Add the yeast and one teaspoon of the sugar and flour. Leave to sit for 10-15 minutes; you should see bubbles from the activated yeast.
- Add flour and sugar to a large bowl. Briefly rub in the butter. Pour in the milk and stir until it comes together. Knead with extra flour for 5 minutes until smooth and pliable.
- Leave to rise until doubled in size (around 1 hour at room temperature).
- Knock back the dough and divide into 12 equal balls. Divide evenly over 2 large baking sheets, and leave to prove until doubled again (around 45 minutes).
- Heat the oil to 190°c (375°f). Start with one doughnut; fry for 5 minutes, turning it over halfway through. Continue with the rest of the doughnuts (two or three at a time), making sure not to crowd the pan. Drain on kitchen paper.
- Warm the dulce de leche in a small saucepan until it has thinned slightly. Mix the cinnamon and sugar on a small plate. Using a piping bag and a small nozzle, fill each doughnut with dulce de leche, until a little oozes out. Roll in the cinnamon sugar.
The original recipe was from Jamie Oliver’s website; you can find the link here.